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Desert X 2023 has closed. This installation is no longer on view.

Paloma Contreras Lomas

Amar A Dios En Tierra De Indios, Es Oficio Maternal

b. Mexico City, Mexico, 1991
Based in Mexico City

Amar a Dios en Tierra de Indios, Es Oficio Maternal
33.780500, -116.406167
Sunnylands Center & Gardens
Rancho Mirage, California, USA
Desert X 2023

By employing drawing, sculpture, performance, writing and multimedia installation, Paloma Contreras Lomas addresses topics such as patriarchy, violence, class segregation, colonial guilt and constructed middle-class identity with a cinematic sense of humor. She exercises a playful sense of lightness to draw the viewer in to ponder heavy issues that are rarely addressed in Mexican society. Her work seeks to push back at the violent male gaze of the landscape by confronting its historical association with the male libido, the occupation and instrumentalization of territory, and economies of extraction.

Visitors encounter a dated car that has screeched to a halt in Sunnylands. An absurd array of tangled limbs of two mysterious characters wearing long hats sprawl out of the car and onto the site’s pristine, manicured grounds. Plush, long hands armed with soft-stuffed guns hang from the windows, barely camouflaged by the artificial overgrowth invading the sculpture. These strange characters accompany the visitor on a caricature of a western–meets–sci-fi audio-visual tour of the landscape, like a fictional tour of a seemingly familiar world outside, guided by aliens and ghosts.

Listen In: Mario García Torres acts as Paloma Contreras Lomas’ interviewer, asking questions about her development as an artist, and how living and working within the cultural and political landscape of Mexico has influenced her work and thinking.

Generous support is provided by Sunnylands Center & Gardens, Karen Fox, and Celia Henely.